Thursday, April 20, 2006

...and all this time I only THOUGHT I lived at my house

True story. After having lived in Wisconsin for nearly two years, yesterday I finally got myself down to the DMV to get my Wisconsin driver's license. I know, I should have done it sooner, but I can give you a million reasons why I had to put it off (or forgot). Anyway, I'd done my homework. I knew what they'd ask for. They wanted a couple of forms of identification, including my old Utah license, and they wanted proof that I actually lived in Wisconsin now. I found a few bills that I expected to do the trick, and I was on my way.

Anyone who's been to the DMV knows that the wait is very, very, very long. So I'll skip that part. Those of you in Oklahoma who can go to tag agents in your neighborhood instead are extremely lucky.

My number was called, and I went up to the window and presented my application and supporting materials. When the nice gentleman got to the part about documenting my residency, I gave him our electric bill. What follows is pretty much exactly how it happened. True story.

Nice Gentleman: We can't accept this. This doesn't have your name on it.

Me: It has my husband's name on it.

Nice Gentleman: It has to have your name on it.

Me: But the utilities are in my husband's name.

Nice Gentleman: It has to have your name on it.

Me: (whipping out my "Plan B" documentation, having anticipated this problem earlier) Well, here's a bill with my name on it.

Nice Gentleman: This is a cell phone bill. We only accept land line telephone bills.

Me: (feeling smug) Ah, but look. This bill with my name on it shows the same address as the electric bill with my husband's name on it.

Nice Gentleman: We only accept land line telephone bills.


Nice Gentleman: I'm sorry, we can't accept that.

Me: (whipping out my "Plan C" documentation, feeling miffed) Okay, here's another bill. This is a cable bill, and it has my name on it and my address.

Nice Gentleman: We can't accept that, either. We only accept electric bills, gas bills, and land line telephone bills.

Me: (feeling desperate) What about a house deed? We own a house in Wisconsin. My name is on the deed to the house.

Gentleman: No, we can't accept that, either. (He pulls out a list that I've already been over many times.) This is the list of what we accept of proof of residency. You clearly need to study this list.

Me: I've already been over this list, and I don't have any of these things.

(He doesn't believe me and goes over the list item by item. I shoot down every single item on the list. I don't have a Wisconsin bank account because we've been happy with our banking in Utah and we like it where it is. The utilities are all in my husband's name. I'm not attending school in Wisconsin, so I don't have official records there. I don't have a paystub from a Wisconsin employer because I work freelance, and so far I haven't worked for anyone in Wisconsin.)

Me: Look. I've lived in Wisconsin for almost two years, and I should have a Wisconsin license.

Gentleman: Yes, you should.

Me: But I can't have one.

Gentleman: Nope.

So, according to the DMV, I don't live in Wisconsin. I fully understand and support their reasons for requiring proof of residency, but when I can live in the state for almost two years and still not meet their requirements, something is wrong with the system.


HOWARD'S said...

WOW! That is crazy! I haven't gotten my license since we moved but I am greatful I won't hve to go through all of that. I guess you'll hav an excuse for not having one if you ever get pulled over though.

Katie Parker said...

Yeah, that's what I'm hoping. Except, did you know it's illegal in the state of Wisconsin not to have a Wisconsin driver's license once you've lived in the state for 30 days? Now explain THAT one!

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